There is an old legal bookcase in our front room. It is old, weathered, tired looking. It is covered in scratches and paint streaks that really don’t belong on it, but somehow through the years made the bookcase their home. I love this old, junky piece of furniture. More than I can say. And, I am not entirely sure why. When I look at it I remember my mother, my childhood, my father – I remember many, many years gone by. I remember books that I read, and books that we kept in the case that I never read. I have some of those books still today – A History of Civilization, Berlin-Dahlem Gallery, A History of Painting. All books that mother had and we just kept around.

What is it about childhood things that brings back such memories? I remember looking at that bookcase years and years ago and thinking that there was nothing special about it, but I just didn’t want to part with it. I felt like it was a link to my mother, to when I was younger – yet it was only a simple wooden object. I parted with it years ago when I was divorced. My girls’ father always loved that legal bookcase and I wanted him to have it. It meant something to him and that was important to me. Now, years later, he has remarried and his new family didn’t want it any longer, so it has made its way back to me once again…and it is nice to have it back. It is like an old friend that I have not seen in a long time.

Books. Do you like books? What are the ones that you liked the best, influenced you the most, left the deepest impressions on your soul? My list looks a bit like this, although it changes daily:

  • Go Dog Go, Dr. Seuss
  • The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
  • Barrel Horse Racer, Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
  • Happiness, Will Ferguson
  • House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
  • Anything by Bill Bryson
  • Golf in the Kingdom, Michael Murphy
  • Anything by Robert Fulghum
  • Independence Day, Richard Ford
  • The Love of a Good Women, Alice Munro

And the list could go on forever. I love to read, I love thinking about the books I have read and relate them to that time in my life. It is a way to remember my past I suppose. Very much like the old bookcase in our front room.